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Report on Quality of Care Provided to Patients Admitted to Hospital Following Out-of-Hospital Cardiac Arrest in UK

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The latest report from the National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD), Time Matters, is a review of the quality of care provided to patients aged 16 years and over who were admitted to hospital following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest.

The National Confidential Enquiry into Patient Outcome and Death (NCEPOD) is an independent body to which a corporate commitment has been made by the medical and surgical royal colleges, associations and faculties related to its area of activity.

The aim of the study was to identify variation and remediable factors in the processes of care provided to patients aged 16 years and over admitted to hospital following an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA).

Data were collected to review the clinical care delivered to patients from the time of an OHCA to discharge from hospital or death. Only patients with a sustained return of spontaneous circulation (ROSC) for at least 20 minutes, were included. Review of the clinical pathway included the community and emergency service response, hospital admission, and inpatient care, in particular cardiac and critical care services. Data were also collected to assess organisational aspects of care within acute hospitals.

According to the report, the UK’s poor record for out of hospital cardiac arrest cases could be improved if patient temperatures were better managed by nurses and other clinicians. Fewer than one in 10 people in the UK survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest (OHCA) compared to 21% in the US and Holland, and a quarter of patients in Norway.

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